I had only ever read about the Hash House Harriers and thought that they were nothing more than a bunch of people running round after trails of flour. Last Saturday changed all that, when I was invited to report on the 500th hash of the Lisbon group (LH3).
I met with the Hash-Master (Oval) behind the Estoril Casino and it wasn’t long before I realised that how you hash is up to you – it doesn’t have to be a grueling race, unless you want it to be and, for many, it is actually an opportunity to have some fun and see a bit of scenery.
I was told that there would be around 60 hashers attending – all with odd names. After being informed by Boomerang on the basics of hashing, off I went. I soon found that there were members not only from across Portugal, but also from Moscow, Madrid, Dakar, the United Kingdom and Paris, who had all come to Lisbon for this 500th hash. I also managed to discover how a person receives their hash name – after your fifth hash, you stand in the centre of a circle of hashers and they choose a name that they find befitting to you – there are names such as 007, Armpit Stop, Bad Hare Day, No Moor, Snow White, Lady Penelope and Green Goddess, to name but a few.
I, sadly, could not join the group for the evening’s festivities, but I was there with bells on for the second day of hashing. Day two of the hash was much more of the same. We went up and down a few windy paths and then hopped on the bus for a short journey to Guincho for lunch.
I found hashing to be a very enjoyable experience, not just for the hash itself, but for the good company along the way. I bade everyone a fond farewell after my magnificent lunch on day two, but have that feeling in my bones (which ached all morning on Sunday) that I will be joining the hashers again soon on one of their intrepid trails. For anyone that has not hashed before and would like to give it a go, contact Mark Hanmer on 964 686 183. Bob Hughes